Still Perfect

News, notes, and quotes while wrapping up KU's 75-65 victory over Baylor Monday night at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, and celebrating Sherron Collins breaking the school record for most consecutive free throws made (35).

The junior guard hit six straight charities before missing one with 51 seconds remaining. His 35 straight free throws broke Wayne Simien's mark of 34 set in the 2004-05 season.

The No. 21 Jayhawks (18-4, 7-0 in Big 12) won their fourth straight road game in conference play and seventh consecutive game overall. KU is off to its best start in the Big 12 since the 2004-05 team went 9-0.

TWIN TOWERS & A "LITTLE" NIGHT

Junior forward Mario Little and freshman twin forwards Marcus and Markieff Morris had one of their best games of the season. Marcus had 13 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes, while Markieff posted nine points, nine boards and two blocks in 19 minutes. Little, meanwhile, scored all 12 of his points in the second half. He also grabbed three rebounds in 12 minutes.

Marcus scored eight straight points to open the second half, helping KU break open a 30-28 halftime lead. Then, after a layup by Collins, Markieff's three-pointer stretched KU's lead to 10 points (43-33) at the 15:56 mark. Markieff's layup with 1:59 remaining gave the Jayhawks their biggest lead (72-59) of the game.

"Let's give it up to the Morris twins and Mario Little," KU coach Bill Self said. "Those guys combined for 34 points and 18 rebounds in 48 minutes. They were key performers. We're not going to get that every night, but if we can continue to get consistent play out of those guys, I do feel we're getting better."

"How about the start Marcus got us off to in the second half," Self added. "Even the time he walked (he swished a jumper on the traveling call), that was one of the best moves he's made all year because that was a close call. He was great and how about Kieff, how he went after the ball. That was fabulous. And, of course, Mario showed us something when he was out there."

On a side note, Marcus Morris went three of three from the free-throw line. He's now hit 10 straight charities.

BIG SHOT TYREL

Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed (three points) hit a big bucket (his only field goal) for the third straight game. With KU leading just 48-47 in the second half, Reed swished a 15-foot jumper in transition after Colorado made a 9-2 run. The Buffs got no closer than three points the remainder of the game.

In KU's 68-62 victory over Nebraska on Jan. 28 in Lincoln, Reed made a three-pointer with 6:37 left to give KU a 51-50 lead. He immediately came back on KU's next possession and drained another three.

Then, in the Jayhawks' 66-61 victory over Colorado on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse, after the Buffs rallied from a 21-point second-half deficit to close within two (54-52) at the 6:08 mark, Reed bombed a three to give KU some breathing room.

SLOW START/HOT SECOND HALF

After shooting just 33.3 percent in the second half against Colorado, KU's shooting woes continued in the first half versus Baylor. The Jayhawks opened with 5 of 18 shooting (26.3 percent) and finished the half shooting 41.4 percent. KU didn't take its first lead (28-26) until a jumper by Collins with 43 seconds remaining before halftime.

Despite the poor shooting, Self was pleased with his team's effort in the first 20 minutes. He enjoyed the second half even more, as the Jayhawks shot a scorching 57.1 percent (49.1 percent for the game) and held Baylor to just 30.8 percent shooting (36.4 percent for game). The Jayhawks also outrebounded the Bears 37-29 and outscored them in the paint, 42-20.

"Regardless of how poorly we executed (the first half) — their pressure bothered us and those things — we did compete," Self said. "We competed on the glass. ... We didn't play very good at all the first half. The second half, we looked good. I thought we played very well. Defensively, we were obviously pretty good. I don't like it when Cole (Aldrich) gets four fouls, but we certainly played out of foul trouble with that.'

Aldrich (nine points, eight boards, two blocks) went to the bench with four fouls with 8:16 remaining in the game and KU up 56-51. When he returned at the 3:23 mark, Kansas had pushed its lead to 66-58. Collins scored six of those 10 points.

PROPS FOR SHERRON

Collins finished with 17 points (5-13 FG) and six assists in 39 minutes. He scored six points in the last 6:40 of the first half, including a jumper at the halftime buzzer, to help rally KU from a 20-15 deficit and give KU a 30-28 lead at intermission.  

"Sherron controlled the game," Self said. "This may be the best game he's played this year as far as a true point guard game."

A HAPPY COACH

"Everybody played well," Self said. "Brady (Morningstar — six points, 2-3 from three-point range) made shots early in the game again. He plays 40 minutes. I think he came out for a few seconds. Sherron plays 39. Tyshawn (Taylor, six points and four assists) did some good things. (He) drove it, just missed layups. Tyrel made a big shot when they cut it to one."

"I'm pleased," Self added. "I thought this would be a very difficult place to play because of their talent level and being on Big Monday and they'd be juiced. But give it up to KU fans. They had more fans here than us, but it wasn't three to one or anything, and certainly our fans made every bit as much noise as they did. ... We still got plenty of things to work on, but it was a good feeling tonight."

KU next hosts Oklahoma State on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse at 2:30 p.m. (CST) on ABC.

Phog.net Top Stories